Israel takes great interest in the work on Building an inclusive labor market that is carried out by the LEED Committee of the OECD (Local Economic and Employment Development). The effective utilization of mechanisms in the policy implementation framework is key to the success of national policies to fight social exclusion and integrate the disadvantaged in the labor market. This is especially true for minority populations, in the Israeli context – the Arab, Bedouin and Druze communities. The development of capacities is becoming increasingly important in a globalized economy and fragmented policy environment, such as Israel, as effective implementation requires a deeper understanding of how policies interact and how different levers can be combined for maximum impact.

In that regard, Israel has set a strategic goal to promote local employment and development within minority populations. The government of Israel is investing growing efforts to encourage the social integration and promotion of the Arab population in the labor market. Let me just briefly outline a few concrete examples:

  1. A clear illustration of these efforts is the establishment of a network of 21 dedicated employment centers for the Arab population that provide an extensive package of employment services including employment counseling and guidance, soft skill workshops and long- term post placement employment support.
  2. Several initiatives have been launched in recent years to promote the integration of Arab college graduates in high- tech and the business sector and to encourage the entrepreneurship in the Arab community.
  3. We are also making efforts to strengthen primary education with particular emphasis on the Arabic speaking population. This is reflected in a reduction in class size and in the number of children per teacher, as well as in a range of programs to raise the quality of teaching

All those activities and many others can be found in the Israeli report on Labor Market Policies that was submitted to the ELSA Committee.

The Ministry of Economy is currently participating in LEED’s voluntary project on local job creation designed to create quality jobs by providing better skills to Arab minority population in Northern Israel. The study aims to analyze the strength and weakness of the systems in place, especially compared to the neighboring urban area. We are still in rather initial stage of preparing the background note, and look forward for further continuous cooperation with the secretariat and the policy recommendations in that domain.